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Hot topic… How secure is your Network?

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At the time of writing this blog, Virgin media had just issued security advice to over 800,000 Broadband customers – to change the password to their internet routers.  The advice was actually – to change both the network and router passwords from the passwords supplied.  Now that seems obvious, especially when the Router password is by default ‘changeme’.  IT people have both a sense of humour and love to spell things out.

Allegedly, the problem appears to be that lists of the router type, id’s and default passwords can be downloaded from the ‘dark web’, a sinister unregulated encrypted network invisible to normal browsers.

NINJA TIP here – definitely change the router and network passwords away from the default – but also rename your WiFi Network name (SSID), for example a Virgin Media device would have a network name of “VM578072-5G” this is type of naming that you see when you search for Wifi Networks on your mobile.  We suggest renaming your Wifi Networks something that gives no clue to what devices you use, or even which property the device might be in.  Don’t use your business name, surname office or house number, try Network 1 or Network 2, something that gives hackers driving by no help in identifying weaknesses in your network.

This is very important because our offices, and homes, are filling up with all manner of ‘smart’ devices.  A recent Which Report tested 15 Smart Home appliances to see if they could hack into them.  Eight had at least one security flaw.  Typical examples – hacking into CCTV cameras operated over the internet – why would you do that ?  How about to pan and tilt the device to check activity in the office?

So, go change those default settings on your networking devices AND any attached smart devices – don’t leave the door open.  And if your networking devices are old and susceptible to attack, come talk to us about our range of secure networking products – we are here to help.

And its not just your networks that need security.  Our workstations are under attack too.  Remember the recent global cyber-attack that caused so much havoc within the NHS?  Is it time to review your security processes and procedures?  The UK National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, issued this advice…

  • Keep your organisation’s security software patches up to date
  • Use proper antivirus software services
  • Most importantly for ransomeware, back up the data that matters to you, because you can’t be held to ransom for data you hold somewhere else.

Once again we are here to help, talk to us about your backup and software security requirements, we can help there too.